On Finding and Loving Nameless Creeks

Window View on Bowen Island near Vancouver, BC
Window View on Bowen Island near Vancouver, BC

I can be gratified, I suppose, that anyone half my age is thinking about what it means to belong to or in a place and why that matters, taking guidance from the South’s Mr. Wendell Berry.

It is especially a comfort and blessing when that someone who finds his own nameless creek is your son, now living in Missouri. Excerpt below is from Nathan’s blog, People’s Green. Some of you will understand his wondering and wandering and want to read it all.

…I realize that for the first time in a good while, I see relationship here: if not permanence, longevity.

I’m not used to seeing this in the Healing Spots I find.  Often enough I find Truth and Beauty in these places – Sublimity, even.  but never longevity.  Moving as much as I have, with my eye as fixated as it’s been on the Future (always elsewhere), my Healing Spots were places to be, but not to settle.

Wendell Berry would have a thing or two to say to me.  I have no doubt he would have some stern, fatherly words to share about my promiscuity of place these last twenty years – how quick I’ve been to say I “loved” the far-away nooks to which I’ve traveled or the communities I’ve dabbled in for a month or two, a year or two, at a time.   Like Bonhoeffer’s distaste for cheap grace, Berry has suffered little patience for cheap place or its shareholders.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. I caught Nathan’s post yesterday and moved to comment there…He has a voice that speaks beyond his years. Thanks for pointing me towards his site to begin with…

  2. My healing spots always seem to be in the direction of my fishing pole, as I grow older, the catching of the fish still stirs my spirits but now I have found pleasure in just sitting listening and tying on a fly or lure. Growing old does have its advantages.